Realist, Intergovernmentalist, and Institutionalist Approaches

Mark A. Pollack

in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199546282
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Realist, Intergovernmentalist, and Institutionalist Approaches

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This article examines a body of theories – realism, intergovernmentalism, liberal intergovernmentalism, and rational-choice institutionalism – that together represent a distinctive family of approaches to the study of the EU. It argues that the relationship among realist, intergovernmentalist, and rational-choice institutionalist theories is one of theme and variation, with the core themes being the interactions of rational, self-interested states under anarchy; and the variation consisting in assumptions about the nature of state preferences, the severity of the security dilemma, and the role of international institutions in EU and world politics.

Keywords: realism; liberal intergovernmentalism; rational-choice institutionalism; EU; international relations

Article.  7046 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; European Union

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